Sunday, 17 November 2013

Dimensions 2013 in Saskatoon

Dimensions 2013 is now open for viewing at the Affinity Gallery on Broadway in Saskatoon. November 15, 2013 to January 04, 2014
Reception: Friday, January 03, 2014, from 7:00-9:00pm

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 1B5

Affinity Gallery and SCC Boutique hours:
Monday to Saturday, 10:00am-5:00pm
Open late Thursdays until 8:00pm

All the work is amazing, the artists and artisans themselves, masterful. I encourage anyone who lives here, or is passing through to pop in and take a peek if you can. As with all art, it's best in the flesh. I welcome you to join us at the reception on January 3rd as well! 

There is also a slideshow of all the beautiful works HERE

Many thanks and Happy Creating!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

DIY Cardboard Box Inkle Loom Tutorial PART 3!



 Remember this?

I know it's been a long time coming.  It turns out maintaining an acreage in the summertime while wrangling a 4 year old and a baby and keeping up a blog is---whaaaaaaaaaaaat?! People do this!???  I seriously NEED more hours in a day.  :) 

Thank you for following along, and for staying energized excited about this project. I hope that you will join along with me and thread up that cardboard loom so we can take it for a little test drive!

First you created an inkle loom out of a cardboard box (totally rad) and then you made some string heddles for you are ready for part 3! Let's learn how to thread up that loom and start weaving an inkle!

For this you'll need your loom, 20 heddles, a pair of sharp scissors, an extra piece of cardboard to make a shuttle, a plastic ruler you get inside a geometry kit, and 4 different colours of mercerized cotton string in a uniform size (thicker is better).  I used Lily brand 8 strand cable cotton yarn from the thrift store.  Size 5 crochet thread would also work.  I DO NOT recommend you use wool, or acrylic or novelty yarns of any kind for your first few attempts.  Acrylic yarn stretches, novelty yarn catches on everything and wool will usually bind and felt a little around the heddles.  Smooth, tightly spun cotton is best. I also don't recommend using that thick baby cotton or the kind used to knit/crochet dishcloths, as that stuff is softer and loosely spun.  It will pill and fray with friction.

The tutorial is split up into six video segments. The first one is about warping the loom, and rest are a five part series about weaving your band, start to finish! 

I hope you find them helpful!  My tools were limited, but I tried the best I could to give you a good start!  Special credit goes to my loving and patient husband Justin Keller, who filmed all the segments and helped me figure out how to edit them.

Some images to help:


This is your pattern draft.  It's done on brick layout graph paper.
You can find all kinds of graph paper, including brick layout free online.  I get my graph paper here: .  I like it because you can set the scale and everything.  Some of the other graph papers found on that site are helpful for drafting more advance structures like basketweave pick up and horizontal bar pick-up.

And this is how you read it, left to right, according to the numbers.
 Thread 1 is royal blue and open, thread 2 is royal blue and heddled, thread 3 is white and open, etc.  You can substitute any 4 colours in this pattern, or if you are feeling even more adventurous you can mess around with several colours, just be sure you keep EACH SET of colours. So all 3 greens in the first cluster need to be the same colour, both whites that come after it need to be the same colour, then all 3 purples should be all the same colour, etc. below is one example of how youc an switch up the colour sets:

I would keep the two sets of border threads the same colour.  You can also sub colours in the white areas.  

The possibilities are endless--just with one pattern draft!

 What threading looks like from the side:

How an open thread looks on the loom
How a heddled thread looks on the loom

Position (shed) one.  The open threads are above the heddled threads.

Position (shed) two.  The open threads are below the heddled threads.

If you have any questions please email me at:
heartsonfibreblog (at) gmail (dot) com

Best wishes on your inkle weaving journey!
Happy Creating!



Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Technical difficulties

Good Morning!

If you participated in the DIY Cardboard Box Inkle Loom Tutorial, I want to thank you very much for your patience between tutorials. I keep thinking things will slow down so I will have more time, but it is becoming clear that this level of busy is the new standard.  It probably won't slow down so I just need to embrace it and get up a little earlier than early.  ;p 

I spent hours filming and editing my very first set of video tutorials, and now they are finished and I am SOOOO excited to share them!! 

Just as soon as they upload..

It turns out the videos are taking much longer to upload than I thought.  I tried re-sizing them but then they look grainy.  The entry is otherwise prepped and waiting for me to plug the videos!  I have my fingers crossed that they will be posted by tomorrow morning.

I learned so much from putting these together!  I hope you guys find them as clear and informative as I tried to make them. 

Thank you again for your patience!
Happy Creating!
The view from my deck!

Friday, 26 July 2013

July in Review

I have begun a set of small scale tapestry shapes to contribute to this totally awesome international project.

I had a dye day with a new friend, as my way of thanking her for a gift of yarns from her stash that she wanted to go to a good home.  I supplied the dye and process and she brought some cotton (she makes GORGEOUS quilts) She went home with a wide variety of fat quarters and I dyed a few cotton skirts, some cotton chenille, and size 30 crochet thread.

I got my mini cards from MOO. I am SO HAPPY with them.  I got 40 each of ten designs from photos I took of my tapestries.  ALL of them turned out with vivid colour and sharpness and the weight and finish of the stock is gorgeous.  I can't stop touching them. 

oh my yes!

A girlfriend of mine from high school just had her first baby and it's a girl!  I wanted to make her something simple yet unique as a shower gift.   I am so pleased with it I have decided to write out the pattern, and modify it to make pant legs as well. 


I made the  straps adjustable, flipped the long ends up and buttoned them twice to take care of the extra length and I like the way that looks!  It's a very simple pattern and quick to knit so I am going to get that written and make it available free to anyone who wants to try it. 

 The yarn is Eco-fil 75%cotton 25%acrylic (loosely spun) I found at Dollar Tree.  It was super soft (perfect for baby projects) and came in a range of colours not typically found in baby yarn so I stocked up!

In the land of inkle I have been pumping out the yardage to play with this autumn.  I am gong to try to make a vest, some more handbags and decorations, and possibly a hat.  I'm also kicking back into gear making guitar straps because I've had a few inquiries and nudges lately.  :)


This last one is 2.5" wide and 6 feet long.  I am going to weave one more similar one with another band of basketweave pick-up in a different colour and then stitch them together to a fabric base (my favorite technique) and make either a handbag or a vest.

One other announcement I forgot to make here in June was that "Bloom" was awarded the Gale Steck Memorial Award for Excellence in Craft by and Emerging Artist!!  It was an honor to receive this award (my first!) and I must confess it was the final fire under my bottom to get moving on the next big tapestry, which is currently threaded, tensioned, twined, border woven...just waiting for that first commitment of colour.  ;p  

Do you have something cast on, or otherwise begun that you would like to share?  I love discovering new art/craft blogs!  Link me!

Thank you for taking a peek!

Monday, 24 June 2013




Reeled silk in all it's shimmering goodness. Check out the halo.  I can't decide if I want to use this as is or paint it or soak it in a dye bath.  I just want to celebrate it as best I can.  I guess I'll just have to put it in a bowl and admire it for awhile while I decide!  Many thanks to my weaver friend Shelley for passing this on to me to use.  I can't wait to challenge myself by stringing silk onto my loom for the very first time.

How would you choose to work with this bounty?

Happy Making!


Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Tagua Beads in my mailbox!

Sending out a HUGE thank you to Pearl over at The Beading Gem's Journal for hosting a wonderful giveaway of Tagua beads from Ecuadorian Hands. I was very excited to find out I was the lucky winner!

I received my beads today and they are so cheerful and lovely!  I am going to have to take some time and think about how I will incorporate them!  I definitely see some drop earrings with the smaller beads. 

Seen here in the packaging:

And here in my favorite pottery dish from a local potter:


Tagua beads are made from nuts! I love how soft, smooth, light and warm they feel. 
Thanks again Pearl and Ecuadorian Hands!


Monday, 29 April 2013

Bloom 2013

In this age of high speed and convenience, the rhythmic act of weaving speaks to my soul.  When I sit before the loom I choose to surrender to process, relishing textures of coarse wool, smooth cotton and glossy silk as inch by inch they pass through my fingertips into the warp. Emotions and concepts begin to surface and collide, connect or slip past each other in my mind.  I imagine these strands of subconscious are travelling alongside the threads as I twine, coax and beat them into place.  Tapestry commands discipline and constant deliberation; It challenges me to have faith in my instincts and give it Time.

Bloom is my celebration of the Time it took.


I am overjoyed to announce that "Bloom" was one of 35 entries selected by the jury to travel with Dimensions 2013.  What an intensive learning experience!  I have my next warp ready to string onto the loom, and the new cartoon is already blown up to scale.  

Thank you to everyone who shared in this adventure with me especially my loving husband and family, my ever optimistic friends and the awesome ladies of the Saskatchewan Spinners and Weavers Guild. 

Happy creating everyone!


Sunday, 28 April 2013

4KCBWDAY7 Looking Forward

"One year from now, when the 5th Knitting & Crochet Blog Week rolls around, where do you hope your crafting will have taken you to? What new skills, projects and experiences do you hope you might have conquered or tried?"

By this time next year I hope to be doing more of the following:

-exploring ALL the lace!
-conquering my irrational avoidance of the knitted sock. 
-writing out my patterns to share and sell
-creating more tutorials, including video
-have my Etsy shop up and running with all my wares!

Thank you very much to Eskimimi for organizing this super fun challenge!   It has given me a great deal of perspective and food for thought for the following year, and lots of cool ideas for making my blog more interesting and fun to read.

It has been really awesome to see what other craft bloggers are doing with the challenges, and I look forward to participating again next year!

Thank you for stopping by,

Happy creating!

Too cute not to share. Henry Keller 7mos

4KCBW Day 1 Here!
4KCBW Day 2 Here!
4KCBW Day 3 Here!
4KCBW Day 4 Here!
4KCBW Day 5 Here!
4KCBW Day 6 Here!

 Find out more about Eskimimimakes Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013

Saturday, 27 April 2013

4KCBWDAY6 A Tool To Covet

Hands down, my favorite tool is my umbrella swift.  I have it shown below alongside my other favorite: a ball winder. They work together like PB and J.              

I took some skeins of hand spun compound yarn out of my stash and quickly discovered that the sequins were too obnoxiously huge to fit through the ball winder. And then I thought that was probably okay because I am here to talk about the swift.

It's called an umbrella swift because of the way it opens.  All those sticks are tied together with string, so they are flexible and open out accordion style.  This means that it will fit a lot of different sized skeins.  I have had a few skeins that were too big, but not for the most part.

As a spinner/knitter/crocheter/weaver/ninja* I am constantly falling in love with fancy hand dyed or specialty yarns that almost always come by the skein; I find this tool to be indispensable.  Before my swift I shuddered at all the skeins of daisy size 20 and 30 crochet thread my hubby brought home from the thrift store, when I should have been doing the boogie-woogie dance.  Now I am unwinding those bad boys like a yarn balling speed demon from the planet Yarnopia.**


You don't need a yarn "cake" balling tool to help, you can simply ball up the yarn loosely by hand.  A trick is to wind the yarn over your thumb and pointer as you make the ball, to prevent the ball from becoming too tight.  this is especially important for fluffy, soft yarns that once stretched will loose all their oomph.   I learned this nifty trick from some super awesome gals at a local "crafternoon" last summer. 

I have been trying to think of a tool that I didn't find handy, and I can't!  I might have been lucky, so far, that I haven't picked up a dud.  One of my other favorite tools is called a fringe twister.

Do you have a favorite tool, or do you have trouble picking just one like me?

Happy Creating!


*I'm not really a ninja. Occasionally I'm stealthy.  Mostly I am a clutz.
* Yarnopia is a soft, squishy, peaceful planet located somewhere in the galaxy of Fibertron. 

4KCBW Day 1 Here!
4KCBW Day 2 Here!
4KCBW Day 3 Here!
4KCBW Day 4 Here!
4KCBW Day 5 Here!

Find out more about Eskimimimakes Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013

Friday, 26 April 2013

Thursday, 25 April 2013

4KCBWDAY4 Colour Review


Rainbows in my projects, rainbows in my stash...technicolor daydreams.  It is ALL THE COLOURS up in here.  Check out my groovy duds in the upper right corner.

You might be thinking "uh, peacock?" and colour is definitely where I faltered when picking my house.  But then I thought: colours=flowers=FUN FOR BEES.

I'm really not subtle, especially this past year.  But after searching through all my pictures, I've found that in the last few months I'm shifting towards one colour:

And this is interesting.  My rose tapestry from the last 2 years running:

Basically a cornucopia of colour.

Here's a snippet of the next cartoon:

I am just threading up my loom for this one, but the cartoon has been ready for the past 6 months so It's likely the root of my new fixation. But if you look close, you see that I am not completely forsaking the other colours...

What colours are you coveting lately?

4KCBW Day 1 Here!
4KCBW Day 2 Here!
4KCBW Day 3 Here!

Find out more about Eskimimimakes Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013